Category Archives: Contributors

Packers’ Offensive Success Starts and Ends With The Line

Packers Offensive Line

When a team has a Quarterback who is sacked 51 times during a season in which he is the team’s second-leading rusher, that team definitely has a blocking problem. That before-mentioned team was the 2012 Green Bay Packers. Despite the fact that Aaron Rodgers was forced to get rid of the ball quickly when he wasn’t on his back, the Packers won 11 games and the NFC North.

Even though a whopping 464 yards rushed by a guy no longer around was good enough to lead the team, the Packers won a playoff game. That won’t be the case this season. If the Bryan Bulaga-less offensive line consistently gets over-matched by defensive front sevens like it did last season and in their last two preseason games, the 2013 Green Bay Packers will fall quite short of matching it’s 2012 success. A fifth-consecutive playoff berth might be in jeopardy as well.

Ted Thompson noticed the blocking and rushing problems his team had this past April. During the annual draft, he selected Eddie Lacy in the second round. Lacy, the six-foot, 230-pound bruiser of a back out of Alabama, slid out of the first round due to injury concerns. Trusting his scouting department, Thompson paid little attention to Lacy’s critics and quite possibly got the steal of the whole weekend. The next day, Thompson also drafted the athletic Johnathan Franklin, an underrated runner out of UCLA.

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ALL Packers Talk Podcast: Cornerbacks, Safeties and NFL Draft Needs

The Packers Secondary is put under the microscope as we look at “where we are now”, “where we want to be” and “how do we get there.” This is the fourth in a series of these podcasts, looking closely at this Packers team, position group by position group, and analyzing where improvements are needed. Then, of course, we’ll also examine college prospects that could help the Packers.

Tune in for this expanded coverage of the original Packers Cornerbacks Position Group Post  , Packers Safeties Position Groups Post and much, much more…

Listen using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.


 

“All Packers Talk” is brought to you by the writers at AllGreenBayPackers.com, one of the most popular independent Packers websites on the internet. The show hosts are knowledgeable and entertaining, and most importantly, live, eat and breathe the Green Bay Packers. Their motto is “All Packers All the Time,” and they mean it!

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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Charles Woodson: A Toast to a Great Packer

Editor’s note: This is the last of a three-part series dedicated to longtime Green Bay Packers’ players who may depart this offseason. The first post, a toast to Greg Jennings, can be found here, and the second, a toast to Donald Driver, can be read here.

As far as I’m concerned, Greg Jennings and Charles Woodson have two things in common: for one, they’ve both spent 7 years in Green Bay, and they both were instrumental to the Packers’ 2010-11 Super Bowl run. Take away Greg or Charles, and there’s no ring on anyone’s finger.

Let’s backtrack to 2006. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of the Woodson signing; it’s not that I wasn’t intrigued by the potential, but more so dismayed by the price. 7 years, $52 million for an injury-prone corner with documented attitude problems that other teams weren’t exactly chomping at the bit to bring in.

Boy, was I wrong. It didn’t start off so well for Woodson in Green Bay; he made no qualms about his hesitations about integrating with Northeast Wisconsin’s predominantly white community, and his relationship with Mike McCarthy began, we’ll say, on the wrong foot. But in his first year, he notched 6 interceptions, and all was well, giving the Packers their first defensive playmaker since Darren Sharper’s departure.

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Donald Driver: A Toast to a Great Packer

What can you say about Donald Driver? I mean, this dude, his actions on and off the field, is set to go down in Packers’ lore, if he hasn’t already. A pro’s pro, Driver’s been the one constant, from the post-Mike Holmgren recovery years, to the Mike Sherman early playoff exits, through the Favre retirement (and unretirement) fiasco and into the Aaron Rodgers’ era.

Driver is far from the most talented wide receiver to don green and gold — and that’s not a rip on Driver, who’s, through all the years, kept himself in great shape — but I would put his drive (no pun intended) up against anyone’s. Remember his 61-yard catch-and-run TD against the 49ers’ defense, a unit coached by legendary Chicago Bears’ linebacker Mike Singletary, in 2010. Well, the video below should remind you.

I count at least five broken tackles there … and that he, you know, carried four San Francisco defenders into the endzone. And he did this all battling a bad case of food poisoning from some chicken wings he ate the night before. At age 35, in his twelfth NFL season.

If the NFL is a young man’s game, you wouldn’t know from Driver. A model of consistency, between 2002 and 2009, Driver only missed the1,000-yard receiving plateau once. Driver never grabbed the number of TD catches that you might expect, leaving those catches for guys like Bubba Franks, Javon Walker, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and, most recently, James Jones; but he had two 9-TD seasons and another 8-TD campaign.

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A Toast to Greg Jennings

It’s no secret that Greg Jennings has played his last game in green and gold. The Packers, who’ve enjoyed the luxury of excess cap space for years now, are finally headed toward a more precarious financial position, with BJ Raji, Clay Matthews and Aaron Rodgers all due to make some serious coin within the next year. Jennings’ production has fizzled the last two years, mostly due to injuries, and if there’s any position Green Bay can afford to part ways with talent, it’s at wide receiver.

From 2008-10, there were few receivers, if any, better than Jennings. Once Rodgers took the helm, Jennings quickly emerged as the No. 1, assuming the mantle from Donald Driver, recording seasons of 1,292 yards and 9 touchdowns, 1,113 yards and 4 TDs, and 1,265 yards and 12 TDs. That last year, 2010, Jennings was money in the Super Bowl run, as well, notching two TD catches and a key third-down grab in the fourth quarter of a 31-25 win over Pittsburgh. In other words, no Greg Jennings, no Super Bowl.

But Jennings’ production has waned in the past two years. He battled groin and abdomen injuries throughout the year, missing 8 games. But when he returned, we saw glimpses of the talent he still possesses; he did drop 8 catches, 120 yards and two touchdowns on the Vikings’ D in Week 17.

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